Ok, introduction. Self introduction, that is. The most important part of your introduction is, your name. So many of my beginner and intermediate students, fail at this. So, how do you say, your name, think about it. Like, “I’m Uehara Ryunosuke.” Any foreigner that here’s this will just call you, “You.” Not because your name starts with a “U”, but because they have no way of saying that. We have special ears, as in, not good enough ears. Alright, first of all, at least in America, you have to say your name backwards. Um, meaning, your first name, first, and your last name, last, or your sir name last. Uh, unless, you’re at some type of conference, or huge like event where you have to introduce yourself formally. So now, Mr. Uehara, I have two more steps for you, Americanize your name, or Britishizes, I don’t know how we would do that. Like, and, and also slow it down, like Ryu-no-suke, Ryunosuke. Alright, um, actually, that’s two steps but, we need 3 steps total. “Please call me, Ryu.” Or Dragon, or whatever type of nickname you want to be called, alright? So, go out there and introduce yourself.
Do you really introduce yourself properly in English?
Your self-introduction in English is one of the very first impressions we give, maybe the very first.
You should be confident that your self-introduction is effective or it will create difficulty in communication and engagement.
The most critical part of your self-introduction is…
After you’ve stated your name, how many times have you been told ‘excuse me’ or ‘what’s your name again?’, instead of your name.
What could be the reason they say, ’Hey you’ after you introduced yourself? Because your name is ‘Yu’? Chances are incredibly slim.
Either they’re bad with names, or you are bad at saying your own name.
Yes you are; in an English way that is.
But you’ll be better after you read this.
Stating your name properly in English is paramount, as a Japanese person communicating with foreigners because of the uniqueness of this country’s names and the way we state them.
European originated names usually have a close English equivalent. For example, ‘Pedro’ in Spanish would be ‘Peter’ in English. ‘Jean’ in French, would be ‘John’ in English. And even in some Asian countries like China, people choose their own English name.
But we are Japanese and we don’t change our names. So let’s help the world be familiar with our names.
The solution: Adjust the way you state your name.
Traditionally Japanese always state their last (sir/family) name in the beginning and first (given) name at the end. However, in English we only state our first name (unless in a formal setting, e.g. presentation)
The exception: In sports, military, or a close friends preference of calling you.
To help illustrate the rareness of stating your last name in any case, there are people that I grew up with for many years in my neighborhood, and I never learned their last name. Seriously, years.
Caution: If you state your last name first, and that person tries to search for you, they may not be able to reach you because they think your last name is your first.
I’ve had trouble in the past because a Japanese person only told me their last name, and I searched for them with the wrong name.
In addition to the order of the name, the way you say it is vital.
Say your name in a slow and English way. The way you imagine English speaker saying your name is how you should say it.
If you say it in the Japanese way, there are sounds we simply cannot catch.
I’m sure you can understand this.
If your name is: ‘Junichiro’, you should slowly say ‘Jun-i-chi-ro’. Keep in mind they are foreigners.
There is always an option of saying, “My name is Junichiro, but call me Jun.” Or some other short version of your name.
Ensuring they can put a name to your face will create a stronger bond between the two of you, and increase the possibility of being successful in whatever your desired result is with the foreigner.
Now you know how to state your name in an introduction…
Don’t let this happen to “Yu” again![日本語文へ]